Employees in the workplace often look for an environment that is not only productive but also beneficial for professional wellbeing and prosperity. Unlike traditional workplace scenarios, employees’ work mindset has evolved and they claim for a comfortable setting with more autonomy and independence in office affairs, fewer restrictions, flexibility, and the freedom to choose their personal preference to add in their professional setting for maximum output and efficiency. Employees who want to foster engagement take inspiration from their surroundings and operate productivity based on innovation and mental fitness.
Activity-based working (ABW) is a work style and cost-saving business strategy that allows employees to choose a place in the office where it is most suitable for them to complete their work tasks. Activity-based work is more productively and enjoyably work, where the workplace is a flexible office environment (improved behavioral, virtual, and physical environment).
Let us see in this video What is Activity Based Working?
Companies look after their employees and cater to their needs in every possible way to maximize their business expectations. Activity-based work is a fresh concept that allows the person to have complete liberty in their workplace setting according to the nature of their job. It enables them to use that space for inspiration and easy access to creative ideas. The idea behind activity-based work is that employees if given good control of their surroundings will be able to meet the deadlines sooner and perform tasks with the right kind of space. Everything is on-demand these days and the workplace should also follow the trend allowing the workers to have a customized experience of surroundings. It is a cost-effective business strategy providing a choice of setting to boost workplace activities. This concept gives employees to choose a place in the office where they want to complete tasks wherever it is suitable for them. This space can be given to perform intense and focused work on informal and casual meetings.
Activity-based work is now becoming one of the most common and effective workplace strategy trends. Employees are devoid of specific workstations as per the traditional offices but they can work in any kind of space they find interesting, inspiring, or a place that supports the idea of creativity and flexibility. No employee owns a dedicated space in the office but can sit in a broader workspace allowing them to collaborate, focus, learn, and socialize. This concept has highlighted a dramatic and significant change that has happened in the conventional way of working. With the advancement of technology and closeness, the trend change was bound to happen. Offices are now becoming employee-oriented rather than focusing on their tasks. With a wide range of tasks, the idea behind freeing the workers seems to be a positive and sensible approach. This helps in quick problem solving and impromptu discussions with the team adding value to the idea.
According to recent evaluations, the activity-based work is good for coworker interaction work performance but can be a hurdle when it comes to concentration and focus. However to have an activity-based approach the employees need to have a comfortable design, an attractive sensory experience, behavioral strengthening, and an environment that supports iterative learning.
Successful Activity-Based Workplace Designs
Below is presented ABW workplace example:
New companies are now hiring modern and contemporary interior designers to design the workplace in a way that not only looks appealing but appeals to the nature of employee’s tasks. Employers have started giving considerable importance to their employees which used to be absent in traditional companies. In activity-based work, there are a variety of designs present under the same roof. The members can collaborate, socialize, think, take some time off, dine-in, or prepare notes whenever possible.
Different environmental factors also add to the productivity of a company. Physical designs and the allowance of different rooms allow the employees and make them feel heard and respected. They want their privacy to be respected which is why it is imperative to have an allocation of spaces giving a wholesome experience.
With standard activity-based techniques, team performance can be enhanced if the right kind of behavior is preceded in the workplace by adding an interesting stimulus allowing them to work on the required behavior. Designing and turning the space design in a way boosts employee performance rather than diminish it.
The employees will produce a sequential result with the value-added output if a new work style approach and changed mindset behaviors are combined.
The mindset of activity-based working is to create an improved behavioral, virtual, and physical environment.Let us see ABW practical implementation:
This new way of working is also defined as a team-oriented approach. It must be flexible enough especially for the diverse teams to perform in their comfort and home zones. The transition from individual-based performance to a group effort is only possible when leaders support the structured change management program. Leaders are supposed to promote employee connections and give them a sense of belongingness. Trust is the fundamental factor for activity-based work to be successful. Leaders must demonstrate the importance of trust through less visibility. They are asked to provide support in terms of function, emotion, communications, and control. An activity-based approach is based on work outputs rather than work processes. It involves a relationship between the manager and the employee. It also includes formal and informal training sessions to support this change.
Another Activity Based Work Tour is presented below in the video:
Before implementing this idea, certain key factors need to be considered and a thorough investigation and analysis of the workplace’s vision and mission is required as activity-based work is not for everyone. Just because contemporary companies are pursuing activity-based work it does not mean this approach is right for another kind of company. In terms of diversity, activity-based work acknowledges individual personality. Some team members would need an enclosed, isolated space for presentation whereas the others would demand visual and audio stimulation for better performance. Leaders should ensure that the three important pillars of technology, people, and three-dimensional elements of the change are respected and recognized. It should also be noted that the activity-based working model is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Every company needs to amend and transform this approach to better suit the needs of the employees and the organization. As long as there is good management, it will look at ways to promote new tools, methods, and behaviors by inculcating a wide variety of channels and positive initiatives. It is more of a human-centric approach. To bring change within the real estate and experience design level, a complete change in the mindset is required. The employees are working together to benefit the company‘s bottom line but at the same time, they are working in a comfortable environment which makes them loyal to the company. The notion of a traditional desk job is now being gradually lessened and more companies are basing their methodologies on their employees.
An activity-based approach space should meet the needs of the entire team. This involves introverts and extroverts within the workplace and should be accommodated for maximum performance. The leaders and management should provide ample workspaces for a wide range of activities and performances. It should ensure a comfortable space where the employees can work on tasks ranging from an enthusiastic collaboration to tasks that require complete silence and focus. Lastly, employees should be asked for feedback and suggestions as to what kind of place they prefer.